You had one job FedEx: $400,000 worth of stolen Playdate consoles reappear at a random restaurant

Boxes full of Playdates outside a restaurant
(Image credit: Panic)

Panic, the makers of the handheld console Playdate, recently lived up to its name as it recounted a strange story about $400,000 worth of its products turning up outside a random restaurant, still in the boxes (mostly) and completely abandoned. There are even photos.

The company took to Twitter to explain everything: "Did you hear the story about how $400k worth of Playdates were misdelivered by FedEx to a construction site near our warehouse? And then someone just… stole them? Seriously." But for whatever reason, the culprit(s) decided that this haul was either not desirable enough or too big of a heist and dumped them outside a random restaurant close to the company's fulfillment warehouse—you can actually see it in the background of the photos.

Playdate started its life as a crowdfunded console for a niche audience, but after selling over 50,000 units after its release last year, it proved to be a pretty valuable venture. After the initial success, Panic bumped the price of Playdates to $199 (via The Verge), which means it sits around the same price point as a Nintendo Switch. That price point does make it a valuable piece of tech, but it's still very much a specialised piece of hardware that's only going to sell to a particular audience.

Unfortunately, not everything was returned. "Who said no boxes were opened and no Playdate systems were missing or sold?" Playdate replied to one comment. It also seems pretty likely that at least a few consoles were fenced, or maybe the thieves just liked the idea of the crank. 

While it's a shame a few Playdates got caught up in a web of crime, most of the stock seems intact and saleable. Playdate even confirms that the inventory hasn't been written off yet, and they "never filed an insurance claim. (We're not even sure our insurance would cover this.)"

But that's all we know so far. Playdate didn't confirm all the details and left a lot of questions hanging. It seems like the company is keeping some facts to itself, perhaps for a big release in an upcoming episode of its own podcast

Elie Gould
News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.